Recent Progress in the Understanding of Si-Nanostructures Formation in a-SiNx:H Thin Film for Si-Based Optoelectronic Devices
There has been a rapidly increasing interest in the synthesis and characterization of Si- nanostructures embedded in a dielectric matrix, as it can lead to energy-efficient and cost-effective Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (CMOS)-compatible Si-based light sources for optoelectronic integration. In the present contribution, first an overview of the SiOx as a dielectric matrix and its limitations are discussed. We then review the literature on hydrogenated amorphous silicon nitride (a-SiNx:H) as a dielectric matrix for Si-nanostructures, which have been carried out using silane (SiH4) and ammonia (NH3) as the reactant gases. Our studies demonstrate that the least amount of hydrogen in the as-deposited (ASD) a-SiNx:H films not only allows in-situ formation of Si-nanostructures but also stabilizes silicon nitride (Si3N4) phase. The recent advances made in controlling the shape and size of Si-nanostructures embedded in a-SiNx:H matrix by swift heavy ion (SHI) irradiation are briefly discussed.
R. K. Singhal
S. P. Singh and P. Srivastava, "Recent Progress in the Understanding of Si-Nanostructures Formation in a-SiNx:H Thin Film for Si-Based Optoelectronic Devices", Solid State Phenomena, Vol. 171, pp. 1-17, 2011